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?Flexible cabinet and amp: different applications

Discussion in 'Amps and Cabs [BG]' started by Dewees, Sep 1, 2003.

  1. Dewees


    May 4, 2000
    I would love to find a lighter weight cabinet that can handle multiple applications. I play bass (fretless six.) I play guitar (mostly clean jazz tones.) I need a PA cabinet that can cover acoustic guitar and vocals in small coffeehouse contexts and can be used as monitors in larger venues. I also do a good deal of home recording and need accurate monitors.

    Right now I have an Eden 210T (60 pounds,) a Mesa Boogie combo (I think it's over 80 pounds,) two Mackie C300 PA cabinets (light weight but I already blew one out trying to run my bass through it,) and Event 20/20 near field studio monitors. I would love to find something that could function for at least everything except the studio monitors. (In other words, for the applications that require my moving them a lot.)

    I have the same thought with amps: The Boogie's a great guitar amp. But for what I do, I am liking the sound of my guitar through my Eden WT300 and D210T more and more. Why not one good, flexible preamp and a high power main amp? That amp could also power my studio monitors and PA.

    I know it could be worse, but any suggestions would be appreciated.

  2. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    some things to think about:

    the mesa boogie is more an electric guitar amp that like all other electric guitar amps, merely accentuate the midrangey tones of electric guitars. you're acoustic prolly sounds better thru the bass rig, cause the bass rig covers a wider frequency area.

    also, the bass rig you're using is very "colored" on its own, and not as "flat" responsive as most others. Eden cabs are actually the MOST colored of all bass cabs.

    hopefully, considering you've got a pair of Event studio monitors, these observations were already apparent to you.

    with that said, the choice (for me, anyway... ;)) is easy,

    Acme B2 2x10 cabs...

    most guys here know of the flat'ish PA like response of the Acme bass gear. and yet, they still pump out enough low end to hit 31 hz for your 5 string's low B. and a single B2 cab weighs a more managible 50 lbs., while most 2x10's weigh as much as 65 lbs. next to my Epifani cabs, these are my second fav brand of bass cabs.

    Andy at Acme claims you can use them as studio monitors too, thanks to the flat response! but i have yet to really test that with any mixdown of mine. overall, i couldnt be happier.

    some real world examples:

    a friend of mine actually doubles as an acoustic guitarist and upright/electric bass guitarist for a singer/songwriter friend of mine.

    he uses two B2 cabs along with his Avalon U5 preamp/DI & Stewart World 1.2. running his Santa Cruz Pre-War dreadnought w/ K&K Pure Western pickup, it sounds incredibly glorious and true!

    then, he merely plugs in his German upright or his Modulus 5 string, where he tailors the Mod with its onboard EQ system, and he's got more than enough versatility for the low end!

    sometimes, i'll use my pair of Acme B-1 1x10's with my Acoustic Image Clarus as a mini portable acoustic guitar setup for my lap slide stuff or my archtop wannabe jazzer stuff. then with a florish of guitar to bass changing, i'm all set with my 5 string's low end!

    the only problem is that if you like the Eden sound, then you'll prolly hate the Acme sound! again, the Eden is a very colored bass cab and naturally goosed in the low mids and upper mids for a more cutting bass tone, while the Acme's are mucho mas flatter, which in some onstage mixes sounds almost muted or even dead to some ears.

    but if you like how your bass sounds when plugged direct into the mixing board, you'll love the Acmes. and, with a good flexible EQ that your amp has, or with a good outboard EQ like a Raven Labs True Blue EQ, you can literally tailor the Acme's to sound whichever way you want to fit the mix your bass is in.

    sometimes, i'll use the uber-versatile Aguilar DB680 with its fully parametric EQ to get the tones i need to cut thru any mix.

    also, you might considering getting a lighter weight power amp, like a Stewart World 1.2 (1 rack space, 15 lbs.), or a Peavey DPC1400x (1 rack space, 15 lbs.), or even a QSC PLX series power amp (2 rack space, 27 lbs.)

    but if you want a more traditional sounding bass cab that naturally cuts thru, and you dont mind the slight goose in the low mids of your acoustic guitar sound, then definitely get an Epifani "Ultralite" bass cab.

    they use Neodynium [sic] speakers, and literally weigh a 1/3 less than most other bass cabs. e.g. an ultralite 2x10 weighs 30 lbs.!

    hope this helped, & good luck!

  3. Dewees


    May 4, 2000
    Thanks, That was very helpful.

    It does seem that what I need is the flattest frequency response I can get. The Epifanis are very attractive because of the weight. But you say the Acmes have a flatter response?

    I wonder if I could replace my Eden WT300, Boogie Mark III, Yamaha powered mixer, and the NAD hi fi power amp I use in the studio with some kind of preamp - main amp setup.

    One thing I've been doing lately is running my guitar through a Yamaha modeling preamp into the main amp of my Eden. What's really convenient about this is that I can keep my bass plugged into the front panel with all my EQ settings while completely bypassing the front panel controls with the guitar going straight to the power amp. This enables me to minimize my setup when I have to play both guitar and bass for the same gig. And the modeling preamp is, frankly, a lot easier to use than the Boogie when it comes to changing patches. A really flat cabinet would be exactly what I need if I go the modeling route because the speaker models in the Yamaha really are very good.

    I also have used the Eden preamp as a mic preamp for recording. It seems to be "prevoiced" so I have to tweek the tone controls a bit. The vocal tracks I've recorded with this setup really do sound great - Very "tubey."


  4. Dewees


    May 4, 2000
    Hey, What about the Low B-1? (Again, I like the low weight.) I'd have at least 2 of 'em for the PA application. I could run them both for bass. I think that would theoretically be the same efficiency as one of the B-2 cabs (93 db.) I guess I really would be looking at getting a much more powerful main amp. But the B-1s are also small enough to haul in and out of the studio for the monitor application. I have a feeling these would be great for jazz guitar too.

  5. jokerjkny


    Jan 19, 2002
    NY / NJ / PHL
    the smaller 1x10 B-1's are SUPREME for jazz guitar! a good buddy in philly uses one, along with a Walter Woods 100 watt amp to startling degree.

    i own two B-1 cabs, and they're great as either a mini Low B capable bass setup, or as a mini PA. they actually excel greatly as PA duty with their extended low end. like having a subwoofer built right in.

    problem is, they're not that loud. a pair of B-1's will NOT compete in loud rock band at all. but for jazz, acoustic rock, singer/songwriter stuff, coffeehouse gigs, they'd be fine.

    actually, a great idea for your electric guitar needs would be to use a Line 6 POD into a high quality mic preamp/DI like the Avalon into a power amp, and into two Acme 1x10's.

    because the Acme's are very studio monitor like flat, you'd literally be playing into essentially a mini studio setup.

    thusly, you'd have all your bases covered:

    bass or upright - (bass into the mic preamp into the power amp into the Acmes)

    electric guitar - (guitar into the Line 6 POD into the mic preamp into the power amp into the Acmes)

    acoustic guitar - (acoustic plugged right into the mic preamp into the power amp into the Acmes)

    also, another thought would be to try using a pair of JBL EON1500's PA speakers. they're relatively lightweight @ 30 lbs., and consist of a 15" speaker and horn. but they will not be nearly as punchie as the 10" speakers in the Acmes.

    hope this helps!
  6. tombowlus

    tombowlus If it sounds good, it is good Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 3, 2003
    Fremont, Ohio
    Editor-in-Chief, Bass Gear Magazine
    Good suggestion on the ACME's. However, two other cabs that you might want to consider are the out of production (but still available used in good shape) EA VL-208's. This is a very flat and natural sounding cab that totally kicks on electric and upright, and I think would sound quite good on acoustic and vocals. It might not have some of that new string sparkly highs for the 6-string, though. The VL-series cabs, while not the most efficient, will still be more efficient than the ACME's.

    The other cab that I would recommend you check out is the Accugroove Mini Whappo. This baby is very, very flat, and has extended lows and highs as compared to the VL-208 (though I haven't A/B'd them directly). It is also pretty darn efficient (100db), so it should give you the most volume of the really flat cabs out there. The Tri 208 by Accugroove is also a great cab, and is more comparable to the VL-208 (natural, laid back tone).

    Hope this helps, Tom.